Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Could Lightning be close to signing Eric Brewer?
Posted Jun 17, 2011 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jun 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Yesterday I wrote a story in regards to where the Lightning stand with a handful of the team’s pending free agents. At the time I was awaiting a response from Newport Sports Management president Don Meehan who represents pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Eric Brewer. Newport also represents Steven Stamkos, who lists Mark Guy as his agent.
Today, I received word back from Meehan in regards to where things stand from the player’s standpoint concerning the current state of negotiations. Yesterday Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman sounded optimistic in regards to getting something done with Brewer before the free agency period begins on July 1. On Friday, Meehan echoed that optimism.
“Our discussions have been most productive and we are optimistic in relation to concluding a contract with Erik and the Tampa Bay Lightning,’’ Meehan said in an email.
Yesterday, Yzerman said this: “With Eric Brewer, I’ve met with Newport Sports and we’ve had some discussions and I’m encouraged with how discussions have gone.’‘
Nothing is guaranteed, of course, as this is still a negotiation, but it sure sounds like things are moving in a rather positive direction. Brewer was fantastic when he came over from St. Louis in a trade in February. By the time he playoffs came around, Brewer was anchoring the top pairing with Mattias Ohlund while also serving as a presence on the top power play unit. Brewer, 32, is coming out of a four-year contract that paid him $4.5 million last season. It would be expected that he will command somewhere in the same neighborhood on a new contract.
Meehan, meanwhile, is also actively involved in the discussions regarding Stamkos, which doesn’t appear to be close to imminent at this point. Stamkos is scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1, which means other teams are able to sign Stamkos to an offer sheet, although Tampa Bay would have the right to match. Yzerman said on Thursday that he was confident something will get done and that Stamkos would be in a Lightning uniform next year and for years to come.
Meehan was a bit more bland in his comment with a generic statement: “Our negotiations with Tampa concerning Steven Stamkos are ongoing,’’ he said.